I am so happy to be linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her awesome and inspiring linky - Tried it Tuesday. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out all the fantastic things people are trying!!


This week I want to share Power Towers! This is another idea I got from Teacher Tipster (shocking I know) but I want to share how I am using them and my plans for next year.

Here is the Teacher Tipster video explaining Power Towers.

I started using these last year when I was teaching Grade 2/3. I made Dolch Word towers, theme word towers, addition towers and easy multiplication towers.

I love them, because the kids in my class love them - they occasionally need prompting to read them or do the math - not just build with them!

I love them because students are getting some basic review when they finish their work.

I love them because I get to eat Pringles.
I love them because I get to buy Scrapbooking Paper - I love Scrapbooking Paper even though I don`t scrapbook!!

Here are some of my towers:

Here are the supplies you need: empty pringles can, small drinking cups from the dollar store, Modge Podge and Scrapbooking paper.

My plan for next year (to make them a little more grade 4ish):

Multiplication Tower to 12 x 12
Division Tower
Word Study Towers:
*harder words
*spelling patterns such at "tion"
*homophone pairs, antonyms, synonyms - find the partner words then add to tower
*and thinking how to make a prefix, suffix,  & root word tower

If you read my post on Friday  then you know that we started our Fractions unit and that it took a lot of prompting and some ridiculous drawing on my part to remind my students that FRACTIONS NEED EQUAL PARTS.

So to save my sanity I made up a couple of posters that I will post and point to whenever I need to (hopefully not too often). I made one for numerator and denominator too, since I inevitably explain those over and over and over too.

Click on the picture to pick up a free copy of the posters.

Be sure to head over to Classroom Freebies for more Manic Monday freebies.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I am happy to be linking up with Amanda and Stacia the amazing ladies over at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky. THIS week's theme is Social Studies.

The book I am talking about is Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker. I use this book during our Early Settlers unit and it is one of many "quilt" books we read.

This is the story of Selina and her family who leave the United States during the American Civil War. Her family is Mennonite and do not believe in conflict. Her family travels from Pennsylvania to Upper Canada. Unfortunately her grandmother does not make the trip with them but does send along a quilt for Selina with little bits of their family history - the Bear Paw Quilt.

I love this book because each picture has a quilt pattern frame. I love to use this book as a basis  for math/art based on the patterns.

I love this book because it details why people moved to Upper Canada and is a good starting point for talking about the difficult choices people had to make and how they travelled and how they had to start over in a new place.

I love this book because it shows the importance of quilts - as a way to reuse material and as a form of storytelling.

I love this book because the family moved to the area where I teach and it is based on a true story so the kids always love that! That being said I think that this is a great book for Americans teaching about the Civil War too!!!!

I love this book because when we are finished every student makes one Bear Paw quilt square and we make a bulletin board and it looks awesome. This is a picture of a real quilt - I don't have a picture of  our quilt from last year.

This is however of picture of me many, many moons ago (as in those kids are heading to university)reading the story with my class with an actual Bear Paw Quilt from the local quilters guild, we were the first class to have the quilt visit our class so they took our picture for the paper.

Here is a little question package I use with this book. Click on the picture to pick up a free copy.

Can't wait to see all the great books being linked up this week. I love, love, love this linky!!

I am so happy to be linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation linky party. I am mostly excited to head over to her blog and read about (okay borrow) some new ideas to get me through the end of the year. Click on the button to head over to her blog.

This week I am sharing our Bucket Filling program. I will not go into details about the book or the message since I am sure you all already now about it - I am just going to share how I run the program in my class.

This is our 3rd year of bucket filling and my favorite so far. Each Friday we take the last 30 minutes to fill buckets. Each students gets this sheet and fills it out for two classmates (or their) teacher if they are feeling so inclined).

I don't know where I got this form, sorry, I tried Google Images but couldn't find it!
 At the beginning of the year I assign them 2 names, then we move to them selecting two people and telling me the names (in a whisper voice) so I can keep track and make sure everyone is getting at least one bucket. Then we move on to a free for all - I emphasize the importance of giving buckets to a variety of people, writing meaningful comments and thinking about someone who might need to hear some kind words.

I have extra copies for myself - I select a couple of students that I want to acknowledge and then do anyone who hasn't gotten one from a classmate. I add stickers and pretty colour ink to mine so they are super special.

We have used buckets when a classmate is seriously ill or having a particularly difficult time. My class loves reading their comments and having gotten so good at saying thank you to each other. I usually make them wait till they are packed up to get them - but I always catch a few kids sneaking a peek and then putting them right back!

My favorite part of my program this year is how we deliver our buckets. I use the pocket chart that is attatched to my book cart - it is supposed to be for signing out books but I made it our bucket filling area - here it is:

Sign from Christina Bainbridge http://www.bainbridgeclass.com/bucketsign.pdf

If you are feeling motivated to check out some blogs this weekend be sure to head over to this giveaway. Click on the picture to get there.

I am linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for her Flashback Friday linky and Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for her 5 for Friday linky. Click on the pictures to head over to their blogs to find out about their weeks.


I got this idea from Catherine at The Brown Bag Teacher.



Head to http://artipelagoteacher.blogspot.ca/2013/01/bad-hair-day.html for drawing directions.


You really need to check this giveaway out - I love, love, love her Lesson Planner!!! Click on the picture to head over to Megan's awesome blog - I linked it to today's post which I found super helpful - but you can still get to the giveaway from that post.

If you made it this far you might as well click on the picture below and "like" this blog's Facebook page! (I'd be so happy if you did!)

Yeah for Wednesday and Jivey's Workshop Wednesday. This week's theme is math games you use cards with. I am looking forward to adding more games to my bag of math tricks and can't wait to read all the posts. Be sure to head over to her blog by clicking on her awesome button!

I am going to share 3 quick games that I previously used for "Take Home Math Games" and now use as a centre activity or for early finishers. I got all 3 math games from a math workshop I attended that was all about sending home games with students as a way to have parents help reinforce basic skills. I sent the games home in a file folder, with the materials in a ziploc bag stapled on one side and a laminated recording page with a wipe-off marker.

Click on each picture to pick up a copy of the instruction page.

Today we finished up our linear measurement unit with the garden activity in my unit. We extended the activity by re-creating our gardens on a new sheet of grid paper and used modelling clay to make the items in the garden. Some students showed incredible attention to detail - like making Bella the Bunny read a book while eating a carrot or adding a fish to their pond!

Indoor recess all day - makes for a very long day. Can't wait to read some blog posts and find some new games to teach my class on Friday!

It's Tuesday and time to link up with the amazing Holly from Fourth Grade Flippers for Tried it Tuesday.


My try it is a recipe. I don't know about you but I love cream cheese, cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert. When my daughter needed a  no bake recipe to earn a Girl Guide badge we went to the handy dandy Kraft recipe e-mails (if you don't get the emails you need to sign up today - they send ideas right to you!) and found a lovely no-bake recipe with cream cheese! They are delicous and so easy. They were a huge hit at Girl Guides, on Christmas when we made them again and at my other daughter's bake sale when we made them again. Ingredients: brick of cream cheese, bag of cookies (Chips Ahoy or Oreo) and a package of Baker's chocolate.
Click on the picture to get the directions. I use one and half bricks of cream cheese just so I have more!!!
I can not find the other recipe - but it is the exact same only you use a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies and they taste like cookie dough!!!!

Now a try it for you. I found some awesome chalkboard like backgrounds that I love from The Latest Find's Make it Create and wanted to use them real bad, so I decided to redo my science experiment posters and forms. I would like you to try them too! Head over to my TpT store to get a copy - free for a limited time! They will be free until I am done with tonight's Parent Council meeting. While you are there try to leave a little feedback. Warning they do use a lot of ink to print - but I just love that background. Click on the picture to pick up a copy.

Today is the first day of Earth Week at my school. We are kicking it off with an assembly followed up by loads of activities like litterless lunches, lights out lunch hours, school yard clean up....

Today's assembly will be in the middle of my math class so I needed something that goes with Earth Day but would also be math! I made up 12 math review cards - I will place them around the room, students (in partners) will find a card and record their answer. Since it is Earth Week we are recording our answers on our white boards. You could use paper from the recycling bin, or put the recording sheets in a page protector or even have all the students record their answers on one large piece of chart paper divided into grid squares. Click on the picture to get a free copy.

My class loves this type of activity so I decided to do a word study one too. Click on the picture to get a free copy.

While I was playing around I thought why not do our word study words for this week with a fun picture background using clip art from Krista Walden. Click on the picture to get a free copy.

Head over to Classroom Freebies - I am sure there are tons of Earth Day freebies to be found!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I am lucky that Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching is such an awesome person because I am linking up with her awesome linky with something that might not fit 100% but I know she will not kick me out of the party!

Way back in January (I think) I read a blog post (which I can not find for the life of me - if it is you let me know and I will insert Your Name Here) about a behaviour management newsletter. I checked out the website and clicked to receive a free newsletter. They are by Michael Linsin at Smart Classroom Management. I have never read any of his books so I can not tell you about those - but I LOVE the newsletter.

The newsletter is delivered to my school e-mail on Saturday. I don't check my school e-mail all that often on the weekend but I do look forward to opening up the e-mail and getting some sound words of advice and encouragement and motivation to try again for the upcoming week. I love that it is delivered to my e-mail on the weekend - when I have had some time to unwind from the week and am thinking about the week ahead. I put all the little newsletters into a folder, so I can just click and have a little refresher, pep talk, whatever, whenever I need it.

Here is a sample from one of my favorites:

The newsletter is free and I highly recommend it. Click here to head over and subscribe to the newsletter. Thanks to whoever you are that first blogged about it!

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